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Friday, December 3, 2010

Why Doesn't Everyone See the Hand of G-d in the Raging Fires in Northern Israel?

Like many other Israeli families, we have the news on, because northern Israel is burning.  Whether it was a planned arson attack or just "chance" the difference between a controlable fire and a tragedy of internationally massive scale like this is G-d's choice.  We haven't had rain this winter.  The few hours or minutes here and there are less than the proverbial drop in the bucket, because they have long since evaporated.

During a normal winter fire wouldn't spread like this.  We are not having a "normal winter."

The fires raging in the north of the country don't surprise me. I pray that our politicians who are leading the country will see the Hand of G-d and realize how to stop the flames and bring the desperately needed rain.


א וְהָיָה, אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-כָּל-מִצְו‍ֹתָיו, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--וּנְתָנְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, עֶלְיוֹן, עַל, כָּל-גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ. 1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth.
ב וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַבְּרָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ: כִּי תִשְׁמַע, בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
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י וְרָאוּ כָּל-עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ, כִּי שֵׁם יְהוָה נִקְרָא עָלֶיךָ; וְיָרְאוּ, מִמֶּךָּ. 10 And all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of the LORD is called upon thee; and they shall be afraid of thee.
יא וְהוֹתִרְךָ יְהוָה לְטוֹבָה, בִּפְרִי בִטְנְךָ וּבִפְרִי בְהֶמְתְּךָ וּבִפְרִי אַדְמָתֶךָ--עַל, הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ, לָתֶת לָךְ. 11 And the LORD will make thee over-abundant for good, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers to give thee.
יב יִפְתַּח יְהוָה לְךָ אֶת-אוֹצָרוֹ הַטּוֹב אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם, לָתֵת מְטַר-אַרְצְךָ בְּעִתּוֹ, וּלְבָרֵךְ, אֵת כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ; וְהִלְוִיתָ גּוֹיִם רַבִּים, וְאַתָּה לֹא תִלְוֶה. 12 The LORD will open unto thee His good treasure the heaven to give the rain of thy land in its season, and to bless all the work of thy hand; and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow.
יג וּנְתָנְךָ יְהוָה לְרֹאשׁ, וְלֹא לְזָנָב, וְהָיִיתָ רַק לְמַעְלָה, וְלֹא תִהְיֶה לְמָטָּה: כִּי-תִשְׁמַע אֶל-מִצְו‍ֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--לִשְׁמֹר וְלַעֲשׂוֹת. 13 And the LORD will make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them;
יד וְלֹא תָסוּר, מִכָּל-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּה אֶתְכֶם הַיּוֹם--יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאול: לָלֶכֶת, אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים--לְעָבְדָם. {פ} 14 and shalt not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. {P}
טו וְהָיָה, אִם-לֹא תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-כָּל-מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַקְּלָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, וְהִשִּׂיגוּךָ. 15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.
טז אָרוּר אַתָּה, בָּעִיר; וְאָרוּר אַתָּה, בַּשָּׂדֶה. 16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
יז אָרוּר טַנְאֲךָ, וּמִשְׁאַרְתֶּךָ. 17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy kneading-trough.
יח אָרוּר פְּרִי-בִטְנְךָ, וּפְרִי אַדְמָתֶךָ--שְׁגַר אֲלָפֶיךָ, וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת צֹאנֶךָ. 18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the young of thy flock.
יט אָרוּר אַתָּה, בְּבֹאֶךָ; וְאָרוּר אַתָּה, בְּצֵאתֶךָ. 19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
כ יְשַׁלַּח יְהוָה בְּךָ אֶת-הַמְּאֵרָה אֶת-הַמְּהוּמָה, וְאֶת-הַמִּגְעֶרֶת, בְּכָל-מִשְׁלַח יָדְךָ, אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה--עַד הִשָּׁמֶדְךָ וְעַד-אֲבָדְךָ מַהֵר, מִפְּנֵי רֹעַ מַעֲלָלֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתָּנִי. 20 The LORD will send upon thee cursing, discomfiture, and rebuke, in all that thou puttest thy hand unto to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the evil of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken Me.
כא יַדְבֵּק יְהוָה בְּךָ, אֶת-הַדָּבֶר--עַד, כַּלֹּתוֹ אֹתְךָ, מֵעַל הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. 21 The LORD will make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until He have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest in to possess it.
כב יַכְּכָה יְהוָה בַּשַּׁחֶפֶת וּבַקַּדַּחַת וּבַדַּלֶּקֶת, וּבַחַרְחֻר וּבַחֶרֶב, וּבַשִּׁדָּפוֹן, וּבַיֵּרָקוֹן; וּרְדָפוּךָ, עַד אָבְדֶךָ. 22 The LORD will smite thee with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with fiery heat, and with drought, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
כג וְהָיוּ שָׁמֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עַל-רֹאשְׁךָ, נְחֹשֶׁת; וְהָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-תַּחְתֶּיךָ, בַּרְזֶל. 23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
כד יִתֵּן יְהוָה אֶת-מְטַר אַרְצְךָ, אָבָק וְעָפָר: מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם יֵרֵד עָלֶיךָ, עַד הִשָּׁמְדָךְ. 24 The LORD will make the rain of thy land powder and dust; from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
כה יִתֶּנְךָ יְהוָה נִגָּף, לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֶיךָ--בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶחָד תֵּצֵא אֵלָיו, וּבְשִׁבְעָה דְרָכִים תָּנוּס לְפָנָיו; וְהָיִיתָ לְזַעֲוָה, לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ. 25 The LORD will cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies; thou shalt go out one way against them, and shalt flee seven ways before them; and thou shalt be a horror unto all the kingdoms of the earth.



ה וֶהֱבִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-יָרְשׁוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ--וִירִשְׁתָּהּ; וְהֵיטִבְךָ וְהִרְבְּךָ, מֵאֲבֹתֶיךָ. 5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.
ו וּמָל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-לְבָבְךָ, וְאֶת-לְבַב זַרְעֶךָ: לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשְׁךָ--לְמַעַן חַיֶּיךָ. 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
ז וְנָתַן יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֵת כָּל-הָאָלוֹת הָאֵלֶּה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ וְעַל-שֹׂנְאֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר רְדָפוּךָ. 7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, that persecuted thee.
ח וְאַתָּה תָשׁוּב, וְשָׁמַעְתָּ בְּקוֹל יְהוָה; וְעָשִׂיתָ, אֶת-כָּל-מִצְו‍ֹתָיו, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, הַיּוֹם. 8 And thou shalt return and hearken to the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day.
ט וְהוֹתִירְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּכֹל מַעֲשֵׂה יָדֶךָ, בִּפְרִי בִטְנְךָ וּבִפְרִי בְהֶמְתְּךָ וּבִפְרִי אַדְמָתְךָ--לְטֹבָה: כִּי יָשׁוּב יְהוָה, לָשׂוּשׂ עָלֶיךָ לְטוֹב, כַּאֲשֶׁר-שָׂשׂ, עַל-אֲבֹתֶיךָ. 9 And the LORD thy God will make thee over-abundant in all the work of thy hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good; for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers;
י כִּי תִשְׁמַע, בְּקוֹל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו, הַכְּתוּבָה בְּסֵפֶר הַתּוֹרָה הַזֶּה: כִּי תָשׁוּב אֶל-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-לְבָבְךָ וּבְכָל-נַפְשֶׁךָ. {ס} 10 if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law; if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul. {S}
יא כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם--לֹא-נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ, וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off.
יב לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם, הִוא: לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲלֶה-לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: 'Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?'
יג וְלֹא-מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם, הִוא: לֵאמֹר, מִי יַעֲבָר-לָנוּ אֶל-עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ, וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ, וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה. 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: 'Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?'
יד כִּי-קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר, מְאֹד: בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ, לַעֲשֹׂתוֹ. {ס} 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. {S}
טו רְאֵה נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַחַיִּים וְאֶת-הַטּוֹב, וְאֶת-הַמָּוֶת, וְאֶת-הָרָע. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil,
טז אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ, הַיּוֹם, לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו, וְלִשְׁמֹר מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וְחֻקֹּתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו; וְחָיִיתָ וְרָבִיתָ--וּבֵרַכְךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. 16 in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.
יז וְאִם-יִפְנֶה לְבָבְךָ, וְלֹא תִשְׁמָע; וְנִדַּחְתָּ, וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לֵאלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים--וַעֲבַדְתָּם. 17 But if thy heart turn away, and thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
יח הִגַּדְתִּי לָכֶם הַיּוֹם, כִּי אָבֹד תֹּאבֵדוּן: לֹא-תַאֲרִיכֻן יָמִים, עַל-הָאֲדָמָה, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן, לָבוֹא שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ. 18 I declare unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish; ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over the Jordan to go in to possess it.
יט הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם, אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ--הַחַיִּים וְהַמָּוֶת נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ, הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה; וּבָחַרְתָּ, בַּחַיִּים--לְמַעַן תִּחְיֶה, אַתָּה וְזַרְעֶךָ. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou mayest live, thou and thy seed;
כ לְאַהֲבָה אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקֹלוֹ וּלְדָבְקָה-בוֹ: כִּי הוּא חַיֶּיךָ, וְאֹרֶךְ יָמֶיךָ--לָשֶׁבֶת עַל-הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיַעֲקֹב, לָתֵת לָהֶם. {פ} 20 to love the LORD thy God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for that is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. {P}

Shabbat Shalom, Chag Urim Sameach

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

blessings batya. i have read your articles in arutz sheva. sometimes. and wrote once to you.
i am a noahide and am really really heartbroken over what is happening esp during the joyous chanukka. its hard to believe there are sincere believing gentiles, after what your people have been thro over the generations, however, there are and Hashem Knew there would be, hence He made you all a light to all nations.
what is happening is something like what happened with prophet elijah on mount carmel during king ahab's time, the 3 year drought and famine.
there is no such thing as coincidence and only Hashem Rules and Controls the Universe, and evenif He did not light the match, He did not stop it either. so His Hand is in it. if you know any of the victims please tell them many sincere hearts among the gentiles cries for them. blessings.theresa

Batya said...

Thanks Theresa, Chanukah is the holiday of fire and light, and now the country is burning.
Judaism shows how you can take the same thing and use it for both good and evil.

Wusel said...

So what precisely is it that aroused the wrath of the Almightly, in your view?

Batya said...

The government's willingness to give away our Holy Land instead of building Jewish homes and cities.

Keli Ata said...

I think many people block out the hand of G-d because the mere thought of a living powerful G-d is much too frightening for them. Of course rarely frightening enough to give them a wake up call or move them towards Tshuva.


Hag Sameach and Sabbat shalom

Batya said...

Keli, this is some powerful fire.

Joyful Living said...

What's causing this?

The lack of love for Hashem.
The lack of keeping the Mitzvot given to us SPECIFICALLY so that these kinds of tragedies do not occur - but rather that we would live on the this Land in happiness and prosperity.

First there were bombs, then suicide bombers, then missiles, then came the fires. All Gevurah. All Severity in mega doses. The way to combat these fires is through Chessed. Charity. Compassion. Love. Connecting to Hashem FULLY without reservation. To make the commitment to keep the Mitzvot. Without fail. The next round of fire will not be able to be contained unless we get it ENTIRELY together.

The fires are our last wake up calls.

Batya said...

the "last?"
We don't know. The government and many of the people are sinning against the Land. So G-d is destroying Land.

wusel said...

But perhaps it is not the government wanting to give away land, but the fact that shmita is not kept? Or Shabbat? Or Yom-Tov? Or because hareidi rabbanim hide child abusers? Or because of the groundless hatred between jews?

Shy Guy said...

Wusel, when i doubt, put out all the fires.

Batya said...

Wusel, without the Land there's no Shmitta. You don't see the forest for the trees...

Shy?

wusel said...

ehm, I don't know.

Up to now, I thought that Israel was in possession of quite a large portion of land where shmitta applies, yet most farmers do not respect shmitta...

Obviously, you live there, so you know better than I do...

Shy Guy said...

Batya, what are you asking me?

Regarding your last response on Shmita, Wusel has a point. Why should we deserve more land when we're not properly observing the land based Mitzvot in the land we're already having?

On the other hand, this doesn't seem to be about Shmitah. If I were Hashem :) I would send locusts or blight or bad weather against the crops. OK, I'll shut my mouth now about more specific Shmitah messages.

Let's add to the pot:

Ovadia Yosef: Fires only happen where Shabbat is desecrated

I must restrain my tongue in public. However, I would like to hear the response from the religious community of Nir Etzyon, who are being hit again, after the last major fire in the are years ago.

Wusel said...

Reshet b just said that a sefardi chief rabbi (Eliyahu or Yosef) said that the fires were due to chilul shabbat...

So obviously they all have their own interpretation about what the "obvious hand of G-d" means to tell us...

Batya said...

Shy, Wusel, I quoted the Torah. It's so clearly written, very basic. When we abuse the Land, not settle it, not keep mitzvot, G-d withholds the rain. Offering our Land to the Arab enemy is 100% forbidden. I'm the CPA's daughter; 1+1=2.
Buying our Land overrides Shabbat, pikuach nefesh, so offering it to our enemies is like murder.

Wusel said...

I don't know.

Is your theory that the more jews settle in Israel, the more rain G-d will provide?

Or that the more parts of ancient Israel are settled by jews, the more it rains?

Is keeping the Mitzwot of the land irrelevant to all this or does it have an impact?

Is settling the land and not keeping the Mitzwoth not worse than not settling? (that's the theory I often heard)

Does the correlation between rain and settling apply only to the present or also in the past?

Late yesterday a Rabbi said in "Melawe Malka" on reshet b that one should not do finger-pointing with "the hand of G-d", but each and every one should do his own Cheshbon nefesh without pointing on other people and saying "because of them h' brought the fire (or the drought)."

Is this an acceptable theory to you?

Batya said...

wusel, simple pshat
Settling the land is a mitzvah. Denying Jews the right to settle the land is a sin, which is mentioned as a cause of G-d's holding back the rain. All pshat.

From where is your rabbi speaking? I'm here in Shiloh, considered the "chevel tabor," umbilical cord according to standard Kabalah.

wusel said...

<I don't know from where this rabbi was speaking. I suppose a Radio Studio of Kol Israel somewhere in Israel...

Batya said...

Just because someone is a "rabbi" doesn't mean he's an authority.

Wusel said...

Well, in fact you are right.

However, why would you want to discreditate the Rabbi who said everybody should do his own cheshbon nefesh instead of pointing fingers?

You see, it is always easy to look for "possible explanations" of a disaster.

However, it seems to be difficult to get "unité de doctrine". I suppose you do not dispute the Rabbinic comptence of Rav Ovadia Yosef, and yet he came up with a different explanation than you.

What's more, these kinds of interpretations of G-d's acting might be very hurtful, especially to victims and their families.

Imagine someone you care for died of an accident or a disease, in an early age. And now people who hear about the tragedy start saying "well, well, I'm sure h' had his reasons to do this. Did this person not sin in this or that way?"

Of course, this would be very tasteless and hurtfull to the bereft.

Therefore, I think it is best to
1) look for the causes we have an impact on (like having a good fire equipment, which seemed not to be the case, and this fact seems to have contributed to worsening the fires)

2) If we want to see the hand of G-d, just keep it to ourselves, least we might displease G-d by hurting people who do not deserve it.

Batya said...

Wusel, I'm not discrediting, I feel that there must be better leadership. Our politicians in government must realize that there's a very simple blueprint to follow. Settle the Land with Jews and we will have the right amount of rain, and then there won't be these terrible fires.

Freeze Jewish building in our Biblical Homeland and G-d will dry the Heavens and turn our Land to a smoldering ruin.

People will follow good leadership.

wusel said...

Well actually, your solution seems to be very simple:

Settle the land with jews and stop purchasing all this expensive fire fighting equipment, because anyway there won't be fires any more... And, by the way, you do not need to buy watering systems either...

Batya said...

Wusel, how often in the 62 years of the state have we had a fire that needs such equipment?

Jerusalem goes through a version of this every five years or so in terms of the snow plows. There's a big snow that lasts more than six hours. Years ago, we'd just get a vacation of a day or two until the heavy hot Egged buses cleared the roads. Private cars were rare.

Now after each snow expensive equipment is ordered. It's not needed for about five years. By then it doesn't work, so it snows again...